Review: Toro Y Moi at Ogden Theatre, 11/6/13

Categories: Last Night

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Ken Hamblin III

TORO Y MOI at OGDEN THEATRE | 11/6/13
Toro Y Moi's earliest shows were sometimes poorly received because they weren't what people were expecting. It's safe to say that Chaz Bundick has stepped it up considerably since then, and not just as a songwriter, but as a performer whose former solo project has grown into a powerfully compelling live act. Last night at the Ogden, Bundick and company offered up a kaleidoscopically vivid presentation with crisp, richly layered sounds.

See also: Chaz Bundick of Toro y Moi on J Dilla and reserving his side project for experimentation

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Ken Hamblin III

The finest example of this came at the end of the set with "Say That," a song from Anything In Return that's one of Bundick's best. Here, the atmospheres of the song, particularly the low end, was a dense and a physical force that ensnared you in the rhythm. Like so much of this show, it was pretty much irresistible.

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Ken Hamblin III

This configuration of Toro Y Moi, a five piece band comprised of Bundick on synth and keys, along with a bassist, guitarist, drummer and a piano player, had a real late '70s Stevie Wonder vibe, mixed with the dusky synth-inflected dance pop of late '80s New Order. During "Grown Up Calls," the simple, even hypnotic, main keyboard line created such a moving and soothing vibe that seemed to open up channel into an emotional reservoir that could flow between the musicians and the audience.

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Ken Hamblin III

The band's ability to tap into that dynamic throughout the show transformed what could've been simply a good synth-funk-pop show into something transporting, and, at times, even transcendent. In that way, it was like a kind of psychedelic jazz with James Jamerson-esque bass lines that made it sound so familiar but also so new and refreshing.

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Ken Hamblin III

The languid and lingering flow of bright tones in "Campo" was enhanced greatly by the use of appropriate bright lighting; at times, it felt like you were getting to see some band that would have been playing in some strange late-era disco. Despite recalling earlier periods of music and freely using sounds from across eras, the manner in which Toro Y Moi employs these sounds and ideas is very modern and living, rather than being some kind of throwback.


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Ogden Theatre

935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Music


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